Expectations: Realistically assess your level of fitness, experience and skill, and choose a route accordingly. Problems in the backcountry can occur when ill-prepared hikers attempt routes that are beyond them.
Maps & Trekking Notes:
- Plan your route.
- Identify possible campsites.
- Note the location of water sources.
- Estimate trekking times for each section.
- Identify potentially hazardous areas and possible evacuation routes.
Permits and/or Permission: Organize permission (eg. If trekking over private lands) or permits (eg. National Park or hut fees) before setting out. Generally speaking, your money goes back into the very place in which you are hiking.
Maildrops: For longer hikes where resupply options are limited, you may need to organize maildrops in advance. Such packages are usually sent “General Delivery“. Be sure to include your name, estimated date of arrival and a little side note saying, “please hold for …..(Name of Trail)…. hiker.”
Getting There & Away: Arrange transport to and from the trail. Always have a backup plan in case injury, illness or other circumstances force you to finish early.